I have been away for a while taking a holiday, or if you prefer, a vacation. I really needed to step back and it was great to do so.
Due to my actually having a rest from normal in-front-of-computer activities and leaving my HTC Desire alone, I have been less active on Twitter and Facebook, though I have posted on “On our bikes.” I have interacted less with my friends, partly due to having a good rest, and otherwise because I have had a five hour time difference from quite a lot of them, so I have not seen them about and they have not seen me. Fair enough? I was on vacation.
Just for fun I checked my scores on Klout and PeerIndex, and guess what? They have declined. Why? Because I have made less noise on Twitter and elsewhere. I have still read my favourite blogs from around the world and have tweeted them if they resonated with me. I have not been totally absent from the World Wide Web.
Have my on-line networking friends forgotten me? I think not. There is something to the expression “out of sight, out of mind” but even so my reappearance will restore me to their view. Has my influence declined? I doubt it. If I was trusted before I will still be trusted. Friendships off-line are not damaged by a few weeks of not talking, and I cannot believe on-line friendships with or without an off-line relationship are damaged either.
Social relationships are important in managing our lives. Mostly we do not think about them as anything other than how we feel about people. Being able to count friends on a networking site might be fun, and for some a matter to boast about, but in the end a friendship or a relationship, however distant, is something intangible and to do with emotion and empathy.
What a friendship or a relationship is not is a commodity. Are we in danger of losing sight of this given the Next Big Thing in social media? Are people really for buying and selling? Is there a danger of bullying; of making people feel bad? It is not much of a game when that could happen.
I have said before I do not take my social media scores seriously. A pinch of salt is definitely required. I value real relationships with real people with whom I feel I have an affinity. Don’t you?